Ibrahim Maalouf - “Sensuality”
from the album Wind

At the end of my multi-month jazz obsession phase a while ago, I found myself hitting a “listening plateau” of sorts. No matter what jazz I listened to, I felt that something was missing. It didn’t penetrate my heart and soul in the same way. That feeling of being profoundly molded by even the slightest articulation, of being swept away by the music, into a faraway land, whether you wanted to be swept away or not… none of that was there anymore.

And then, just a few hours ago, I found this wonderful man, Ibrahim Maalouf. His intoxicating, jolting rhythms and harmonies are exactly the missing link I’ve been searching for all this time.

Also, I’ll be seeing Ibrahim Maalouf live in Marseille, France this Friday as part of the Festival Jazz des Cinq Continents!!!!! *squeals*

sonateharder:

Beethoven, “Das Lebewohl”

From the digital archives of the Beethoven-Haus Bonn.

(via deus-ex-musica)

Today, for the very first time since I arrived in France seven weeks ago, I got to play piano. The piano was an upright, sitting in a corner in the Aix-en-Provence regional train station. The piece I played (or attempted to play) was Chopin’s Nocturne Op. 48 No. 1 in c minor. Aside from my friends, no one was listening. I immediately noticed how my nails were horrendously long and how my fingers had gotten just the slightest bit stiffer after such a long time without practicing. My performance was ridden with mistakes and, with the strange harmonies that resulted, it ended up sounding more like a modern piece than a Romantic standard… but, in that moment, I really felt the greatest sensation of relief and love, as if something jailed inside me had finally been set free, as if I had been reunited with one of my dearest friends after an eternity of separation.

My favorite snapshot from my four-day journey to Marrakech, Morocco this past weekend - this was taken in the gorgeous Jardin Majorelle.

The Smart Cellist’s Guide to Popper Etudes

epicconductingphotos:

1. Learn the first 8 bars really well.
2. Get to the hard part. Decide to skip it to where the opening theme repeats.
3. Learn the last 8 bars really well.
4. Try the hard part again. Nope.
5. Maybe listening to a recording would help. Watch the YouTube video of Joshua Roman playing your etude.
6. Cry.

The Smart Pianist’s Guide to Études:

  1. Cry.

(via sassygayklavierspieler)

Musical street names in Aix-en-Provence, France, right next to the Conservatoire Darius Milhaud. Much happiness Musical street names in Aix-en-Provence, France, right next to the Conservatoire Darius Milhaud. Much happiness Musical street names in Aix-en-Provence, France, right next to the Conservatoire Darius Milhaud. Much happiness

Musical street names in Aix-en-Provence, France, right next to the Conservatoire Darius Milhaud. Much happiness

The London Symphony Orchestra gave an AMAZING free outdoor concert (all-opera program) on the Cours Mirabeau in Aix-en-Provence tonight!! I shamelessly arrived 45 minutes early and got a prime spot :) Among the operas featured included Rameau’s Boréades, Mozart’s Figaro, and Rossini’s Turc en Italie!

rbateson:

Lose your head just for your heart

(via unlonely)

rant: who makes decisions about arts education?

This morning, I had the opportunity to attend a symposium on culture and education called “Rencontres Européennes,” hosted by the director of the Festival International d’Art Lyrique, an opera festival in Aix-en-Provence. The theme was “L’émergence” (or emergence in English), referring to “emerging” or experimental art. What ensued was a series of thought-provoking lectures and discussions on the importance of prolonging experimentation through art, of making cultural capital a universal, rather than exclusive, entity (translated quote: “Experimental projects succeed only if we work together at eye level - if we are all learners”), and of taking artistic risks even under the rigid structures of educational and governmental institutions. It was a very uplifting, optimistic event…

… that is, until the last few minutes of the symposium, which revealed two HUGE quandaries.

I’ve been trying to write a song in French. Very difficult. C’est très difficile.

fatseux:

Goals.

the-voice-leading-nazi:

burdenedwithgloriouspurpose12:

the-voice-leading-nazi:

I’m usually not a fan of jazz arrangements of Classical masterpieces but this one is adorbs.

this is one of the most important pieces of music ever written

(via funnynote)